The Cavalla Historical Foundation (CHF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with the responsibility of support and operations of the American Undersea Warfare Center (AUWC) located at Seawolf Park in Galveston, Texas. CHF currently manages all visitor experiences, military appreciation ceremonies, and maintenance and restoration functions for the AUWC.
What is the Cavalla Historical Foundation?
The CHF’s responsibilities and support include public display and touring aboard the USS Cavalla (Gato-class Hunter/Killer Submarine) and the USS Stewart (Edsall-class Destroyer Escort) museum ships, the sail of the USS Tautog (Nuclear-powered Attack Submarine), the USS Seawolf Memorial, the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza – dedicated to all lost submarines and submariners, along with all other non-fixed, undersea-warfare artifacts accumulated and donated to the foundation.
The USS Cavalla and the USS Stewart retain a rich and valuable history as both are acknowledged and named in the National List of Historical Places by the United States Department of the Interior.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF ORGANIZATION’S HISTORY
The USS Stewart and the USS Cavalla were donated by the U.S. Navy to the city of Galveston for use as part of Seawolf Park on June 25th, 1974. The ships were presented as a memorial to the Texans who lost their lives in World War II.
Over the years, the elements, maintenance issues and vandalism had left the Stewart and Cavalla in extremely poor condition, with extensive corrosion issues and vital missing equipment. In October 1998, the Galveston Parks Board announced its intention to scrap both vessels and turn Seawolf Park into an RV park. In 1999 the Cavalla Historical Foundation was established and assumed operations and maintenance responsibilities of the USS Cavalla and the USS Stewart from the Galveston Park Board of Trustees.
Since that time, the CHF has continued to provide the support and restoration of both the Stewart and the Cavalla, along with adding additional undersea warfare artifacts and attractions to the park. In 2012, the CHF board members acknowledged the growth and scope of their collection by officially naming the museum ships and the memorial plazas as the American Undersea Warfare Center.
BRIEF STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION’S MISSION & GOALS
The mission of the Cavalla Historical Foundation is to provide charitable, civic, educational, social and aesthetic activities for the general public by establishing the American Undersea Warfare Center for the restoration, repair and maintenance of the USS Cavalla (SSK 244), the USS Stewart (DE 238), and any other naval artifacts acquired in the future (Article 4 of the Articles of Incorporation of the Cavalla Historical Foundation).
The goals of the Cavalla Historical Foundation are to maintain and continue to restore the current artifacts in CHF care; and, to expand the educational value and visitor experience of the artifacts through automated touring systems, interactive overnight-camping programs, hands-on display options, veteran information and assistance resources, and the continued procurement of undersea warfare artifacts and attractions.
The American Undersea Warfare Center provides a unique historical, educational and patriotic experience of the U.S. Navy and undersea warfare. We are committed to preserving our nation’s ships and promoting the legacy of those who served aboard submarines and anti-submarine vessels.